|OPERA: Parisiana; Lodoletta; Cavalleria Rusticana; L'Amico Fritz; Zanetto; Iris; Maschere, etc.|
|ORCHESTRA: Incidental music to Eternal City; Rapsodia Satanica; Requiem (with chorus).|
Important recordings of music by Pietro Mascagni:
Bastianelli Giannotto. Pietro Mascagni; Pompei E. Pietro Mascagni; Streatfeild R. A. Masters of Italian Music.
|BRITISH COLUMBIA: Cavalleria Rusticana (complete).|
|ODEON: From Cavalleria Rusticana: "Prelude" ( Mascagni).|
DANIEL GREGORY MASON, born in Brookline, Massachusetts, on November 30, 1873, stems from one of the best-known musical families in America. His grandfather, Dr. Lowell Mason, was composer of Nearer, My God To Thee!; his uncle, Dr. William Mason, was celebrated both as pianist and pedagogue; and his father was Henry Mason, founder of the Mason and Hamlin Co., manufacturers of pianos. In such a musical atmosphere, Daniel Gregory Mason was early brought into contact with the art; and he reacted to it as sensitively as a leaf to the sun.
His parents, however, planned a thoro schooling for him, and Daniel was given a strict and methodical academic training before he was permitted to specialize in music. It was not until he had graduated from Harvard University in 1895 that music became his major pursuit. Early studies were followed under Nevin, Chadwick and Whiting; then the summer of 1913 Mason spent in Baffres (Ardèche) diligently studying composition from Vincent D'Indy--a time to which he today looks back as the pleasantest episode in his life. Having acquired a solid technical equipment, Mason was prepared for serious composition; and recognition was not slow in coming.
In 1914, Mason was appointed Associate Professor of Music at Columbia University. Since that time his rich musical career has poured thru three equally important channels. As a teacher, he has during two decades acquired a formidable reputation; at the present time he is the head of the Music Department at Columbia University. As a critic and author of books on music, he has securely established himself as one of the most penetrating critical minds in America; he has written more than a dozen books on music of outstanding critical importance. Finally, as a composer, he has been accepted as one of the most vital of American musical creators since 1913 when Josef Stransky introduced his First Symphony in C- Minor with the Philharmonic Symphony Society.
Notwithstanding his many activities as teacher, critic and lecturer, Mason has found sufficient time to produce an amazing quantity of competent music for chamber-groups, voice and orchestra. His style in all of these works has been analyzed by leading critics as being classical without becoming aridly academic, scholarly without suggesting the pedantic, and romantic and emotional without yielding to oversentiment.
Probably one of his maturest expressions can be found in his Symphony in A-Major which Bruno Walter introduced with the Philharmonic Symphony Society on February 19, 1932. "There is feeling in this music," wrote Lawrence Gilman in review, "and there is strength--a masculine security and control. Above all, there is an admirable power of organization: out of the long and remarkably articulated theme of the Andante, the matter of the slow movement is evolved. . . . This is 'writing of a sort which has, for the most part, disappeared from the music that is characteristic of our time. It is music of brain and sinew; it is clear-eyed; it is surefooted. Perhaps its reserve is overstressed. There is a Puritan strain in this tonal thinking--music which hesitates to let itself go, which is just a shade tight-lipped. The Masonic muse would benefit thru that release of impulse which Beethoven indicated by the happy phrase 'unbuttoned'--a release which should not be impossible of achievement by the composer who wrote the charming Trio in the Scherzo of this symphony."